Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes India's current pace attack, which includes Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Mohammed Shami, ranks alongside Pakistan's historic fast bowling attack. Virat Kohli and his team currently lead the Test series against South Africa 1-0 after winning the first Test by 113 runs at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Although KL Rahul was named Player of the Match, it was the pacers who limited South Africa's batting. Shami was the most successful Indian bowler, taking eight wickets, including a five-wicket haul in the first innings. According to Manjrekar, India's success in foreign conditions has been largely due to their dominant bowling attack.
“One thing that has changed in recent 5-6 years for the Indian team, which has been a rare instance for India. India’s overseas success comes because India now has the luxury of having three world class seam bowlers. It has had a huge impact,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo.
“If you look at the history of Test cricket, earlier when Pakistan used to win outside their country, they too had 3 world class seamers. And now India find themselves in the same condition. These are good signs for Indian cricket,” he stated.
Pakistan was known for its lethal pace attack in the early 2000s, led by Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar. All three bowlers were known for their quick seaming and swinging of the ball.
Manjrekar also believes that players like Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer should be given more opportunities to prove their worth. However, the veteran believes that the Indian team management will stick with Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 48 runs in the first innings of the Centurion Test.
“The team management is backing Rahane. India have won the first Test, and Rahane scored 48 runs in the first innings as well. So, he might get another shot. But they should also think about Vihari and Shreyas Iyer. The more chances Rahane gets, the fewer chances the other guys will have. So, this needs to be discussed,” Rahane added.
The second Test of the three-match series is set to begin on Monday, January 3 at Johannesburg's The Wanderers Stadium.